It is a commonly held belief in the "health world" that eating our food, live and raw is the best way to get all the vitamins, minerals and enzymes we need.
The raw food movement is at the forefront of great nutritional discoveries and is leading the way in challenging the standard western diet. The food can be amazing, we have some incredible recipes by Rebecca Kane on our site. However, I (and most Kinesiologist's) would argue that it is far from the healthiest diet if used exclusively.
Don't get me wrong, I love a good raw fast and my diet is now packed with loads of lovely raw organic fruit and veg but wind the clock back seven years when I had horrific Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptoms and the very foods I thought were helping my health were actually hindering it.
In fact one of the recommendations our clients find the strangest is to avoid raw food for a few weeks whilst their digestion is rebalancing.
So why is this? Well we have a little flap in our intestines that separates the small intestine from the large intestine and prevents backflow. This flap is called the Ileo-Caecal valve. Sadly for us however, and due to a myriad of reasons from emotional stress to food intolerance our Ileo-Caecal valve can malfunction.
When this happens it is responsible for potentially dozens of seemingly unrelated symptoms, which can include constipation, joint pain, "muzzy head" and fatigue.
When our Ileo-Caecal valves are stressed, our digestion really doesn't work well at all, so whilst the reality is that raw food is chock a block with live enzymes and goodness, that is absolutely no good to us whatsoever if we cant digest the food and the enzymes are not bio-available to us. If we cant absorb our food it doesn't make the least difference if our enzymes are living or dead.
Some people even argue that food is always more bio-available when it is cooked slightly to start the breakdown of the enzymes.
According to the fantastic "Food Matters" Documentary, Raw Food Guru, David Wolfe believes the magic amount of raw food in the diet to avoid ill health and to make sure you are getting all the right vitamins and minerals is 51%, which I totally agree with, when your digestive system is working properly. If its not then it is better to stick to cooked foods until you are able to get your digestion and Ileo-Caecal valve balanced by a local Systematic Kinesiologist.